Saturday, January 01, 2011

Media of 2010 - Movies (on DVD)

1/1/10 - Is Anybody There - ★★★ - A bit of a depressing movie. Which if anyone has followed any of my previous reviews you know I don't really like depressing movies. That said, it was some nice acting on behalf of Michael Caine and the young chap Bill Milner (who was in Son of Rambow). At times it was rather difficult understanding the thick English accents. All in all a decent movie, just not the right genre for me.

1/2/10 - Pond Hockey - ★★★★ - A documentary that I stumbled upon on of all places. I'm also not a big fan of Hockey (or sports in general), so for it to keep my interest for about 2 hours was saying something. Of all topics I would not have thought you could fill 2 hours on a subject of "Pond Hockey" but they did a nice job with this. I'm not sure if this link will work in the future but this is where I saw it:

1/3/10 - Seven Pounds - ★★★★★ - wow, this was a good movie. A bit of a chick flick I suppose, but a really good story telling. Will Smith pulls through with this acting talents yet again. Oh and yes... you might need a box of tissues for this one. I'm glad I didn't see it in the theater so as not to have to explain that I had some dust in my eye!

1/3/10 - The Take - ★★★★★ - An Amazing documentary. I had seen Naomi Klein interviewed on C-Span, and she (or the interviewer did?) mentioned this documentary that she and her husband worked on. I thought she was a very interesting person so I decided to look into the dvd. (Netflix pulls through again!) What an interesting (though somewhat sad to see the levels of poverty and hardships these people were/are living through). But the concept was so foreign to me... in a nutshell... Argentina used to be a manufacturing hub and they were prosperous with a strong middle class. Along came some politicians who under the name of Capitalism, decided to sell off everything to the big corporations. Then things turned sour. The big Corps simply closed down the factories and moved away leaving the factory towns with 60% unemployment. Now here's the kicker... The workers decided to TAKE back the factory buildings and re-open them! No management at all, just completely run by the workers (who all got the same pay). There is a lot more but I don't want to give away too much of the film. If you like documentaries and politics, I'd highly recommend this one.

1/7/10 - 30 Days: Season 2 - ★★★★★ - So I actually watched the first 2 parts in 2009, but finally got around to finishing this last disk of season 2. Tonight's episode was about going to jail. I really tip my hat to Morgan Spurlock for putting himself (and others) through these experiences so that someone like me can get a glimpse into what life is like in places I don't get to see. His commentary is thoughtful and thought provoking. If you like documentaries, you must check out all of these series.

1/30/10 - Transformers 2 - ★★ - I won't go into detail here, it's not worth it. It's a movie with punching, kicking robots, and lots and lots of explosions. The entire movie is people yelling, like they all just drank a case of some sort of energy drink. At times it was also a terrific advertisement for the armed services. Logic and physics is thrown out the window, and the girl is smokin hot (though I had to Laugh-out-loud, when they showed her posed sexily on a motorcycle trying to airbrush a gas-tank... it was clear she (or the director) had no idea how to use an airbrush - but who cares right? She looked good faking it. ugh. I'm giving it one extra ★ for the effects and especially the sound effects. There was absolutely no reason this movie should have been 2.5 hours long.

1/31/10 - Once - ★★★★★ - A Fantastic film. It has an Indy feel to it. Rather simple storyline, but that doesn't detract from the film and in fact actually adds to it. The music was fantastic (about to purchase the soundtrack now). The cinematography was really nice at times. The only small complaint (which is a reflection on me, not the film) was that the Irish accent was a bit tough to understand at times (especially the first scene). This is one of those movies that I consider a gem in the rough.

2/6/10 - Ricky Gervais: Out of England - ★★★ - Meh. There were some funny parts I guess, but lots of "blue" material - and rather graphic too. I didn't need to hear all that.

2/7/10 - Away we go - ★ - I tried. I really tried to like this, but it was just laced with too much estrogen.

2/17/10 - A Perfect Getaway - ★★★ - Not a great movie, and not terrible either. I was entertained. The plot was a little thin at times, yet that wasn't enough to make this a bad movie. Perhaps if I had paid $9.75 for a ticket, I would not be so kind, but for a dvd rental on a night where the only other thing on tv is bad re-runs then this movie fits the bill. Oh, I should say too... that I'm a fan of Steve Zahn, so take that for what it's worth.

2/x/10 - House - Season one - ★★★ - I'm basically enjoying this new series on dvd. (It originally aired in 2004, but it's new to me). The storyline is repetitive though - patient comes in, they can't figure out what's wrong, they diagnose something, and it usually ends up being wrong... then Dr. House thinks of something (usually from one obscure fact that was overlooked, or unknown at the beginning of the show), then Dr. House looks like the genius for rescuing the patient's life. But, that's really no different from any other TV show with a basic formula. And... I've learned some medical items that I found interesting.

2/?/10 - The Cove - ★★★★ - I'm late in writing this review, so I'll just keep it short. A documentary, that tries to uncover a small cove in Japan that sells dolphins to aquariums around the world, then whatever dolphins don't sell they attempt to slaughter. While, tragic, and brutal at times, my only complaint was that the tone of the movie seemed to be off, in regards to the subject matter. For example... This is a serious problem of a hidden and possibly illegal slaughter, yet the filmmakers seemed to have a lighthearted sometimes joking around, about the technology involved with trying to capture film footage. Like they were all enjoying playing the role of an undercover spy, rather than being serious about what they were doing. I don't doubt, they are serious, but the film portrayed them at times as if they were just out for some fun.

2/28/10 - Charles Darwin: Genius - ★★★ - An ok documentary. Only 50 minutes long it seemed to just barely scratch the surface of Darwin's life and endeavors. Also, the production value was on the cheap side (though perhaps that was because it was dated and more a sign of the times - I just looked it up and it says 2000, I would have guessed about 1983, so I will put the blame on cheapness). I feel like the script just highlighted a few important facts about his life without delving too deep. Reminded me of a 4th grader's book report. That sounds a bit harsh, and I will say, that I did learn some new things about Mr. Darwin, and it was a good 50 minutes spent on a Sunday afternoon.

2/28/10 - Taking Woodstock - ★★★★ - I'm being generous with a that last "★", because I can see underneath, that this had/has the makings of a good film. First off, it wasn't exactly what I was expecting, I thought it was just going to be a slapstick sort of comedy (Demetri Martin is pretty funny), but underneath some of the comedy and goofiness there were some heavier topics. All in all, I enjoyed the movie, and I can't quite put my finger on why it just wasn't a solid 4★ film. I suspect it may have been the directing, or a feeling of not really delving too far into any of the other characters (other than Demetri's). I don't expect everyone will like this movie, but that's ok. Everything is groovy man.

3/19/10 - Paper Heart - ★★★★ - A fun quirky little movie. Filmed in the style of a documentary, but I'm abou 76% sure it was just a movie made to look like a documentary. The movie did have moments of awkwardness (perhaps intentional), but all in all, I enjoyed the ride. The few scenes of puppetry were actually really well done - yet I can't put my finger on what made them so well done. Perhaps the combination of great lighting, and sound and creativity.

3/24/10 - Coraline - ★★★ - A strange movie. While I enjoyed the animation and visuals, the storyline was just a little too far out there for me. I'll just leave it at that.

3/25/10 - Precious - ★★★★★ - A really difficult movie to watch, regarding the subject matter, but wow, what a film. I can't comment on the story at all at this point. Words fail me. As to the acting it is top notch, all around. The main reason I rented this film, was because of all the recent Oscar Buzz, and I was curious... I'm glad I rented this.

4/14/10 - Moon - ★★★★ - Almost a 5★, but I just couldn't be generous enough for that last ★. Sam Rockwell though was amazing! The film was great too, though my only complaint (which may really bother others) was that it was a slow moving film. A lot depended on 'Mood' rather than action. I was able to stay interested and Rockwell never let me look away. I remember missing this in the theater because it just didn't "grab me"... but I'm really glad I gave it a second chance on dvd.

4/18/10 - The Jacket - ★★★★★ - I was really pleasantly surprised with this movie. I wasn't sure what to expect, It was a recommendation from netflix and I took a gamble. It paid off. I really enjoyed this psyche thriller, with elements of sci-fi. If you like somewhat unusual films, this is it. Go rent it now.

4/18/10 - The Fourth Kind - ★★★★ - I'm being generous with the last ★. I was entertained by this movie, but I would certainly understand if others thought it was bad. I think because I like the subject matter, explains why I enjoyed it. The acting at times was good, at other times... not so much. Basically the story is what carried the movie for me.

5/10 - Northern Exposure: Season one - ★★★★★ - I was really hesitant to watch this series. I was a big fan of the show back when it first started, and it has been quite a few years since last I saw an episode, but I was not disappointed. I've had movies and TV shows like this in the past, where the memory of you liking something is worth more than actually watching it a second time and seeing how "cheesy" it was. But I gotta say, the writing still held up for me. Granted some of the 80's fashion was cheesy, but for the most part, I am enjoying the series (again).

5/5/10 - Saint Ralph - ★★★★ - I don't recall how I heard of this movie (perhaps it was a netflix recommendation), but I'm glad I gave it a shot. It was a typical "underdog" movie for sure, meaning the story has been told 100 times before, but I still enjoyed the ride of the show and got sucked into rooting for Ralph.

6/?/10 - Beautiful Losers - ★★★★★ - a really nice indie-film about 'underground' art.

6/12/10 - The Bourne Identity - ★★★★★ - I saw this a long time ago in the theater, and happened to catch some of this movie on TV about a week prior, but with all the added commercials, it was driving me crazy. So I stopped watching the movie on TV, and ordered it on Netflix. I really enjoyed this movie again. Perhaps more the second time, as I went back to netflix and boosted my rating from a 4 star to a 5 star.

6/12/10 - Transiberia - ★★ - A long drawn out movie with poor acting. I managed to watch the entire movie, but it was a struggle at times. I mainly rented it because it had Woody Harrelson in it, but even his character was thin. I saw moments in the movie where a couple twists could have made the story-line much better. Ben Kingsley was good though his role was not that large.

7/4/10 - Che - ★★★ - I wasn't sure what to expect with this film. It was more of a historical movie rather than a Hollywood retelling of Che's story (though I suspect even Hollywood couldn't resist some embellishment). This movie - or should I say "movies" had a few strikes against it right from the start... It was LONG. Technically they broke the 4 hour movie into two. One dealing mainly with Che's fight in Cuba, and the second half dealing with Che's fight in Bolivia. Another strike (for many), is that the movie was subtitled. This didn't bother me that much. But what did bother me... the movie treated the viewer like they had some prior knowledge of Che, The struggle of the Cuban fight, historical facts and dates, and geography. I had none of that. So for MUCH of the 4 hours, I was in a state of confusion. The enemies were not clearly defined. It was just told as the "guys (and gals) in green versus the other army guys)". Had it not been for Benicio Del Toro's portrayal of Che and his acting and his commanding presence, this movie would have fallen far short of the generous ★★★'s I gave it. I admit though... towards the end of the second half, I found it almost funny, how the majority of the scenes were just Benicio striking a commanding pose, in front of a handful of men, while sitting in the woods.
But... I managed to stick out the entire 4 hours and that must account for something.

7/10/10 - Doc Martin - ★★★★ - while I just watched only one episode of the British comedy, I did enjoy it. So perhaps it's too early to let this one episode decide the entire series. I couldn't help but notice a similarity to two other shows I'm currently watching too - House and Northern Exposure... it's as if you mashed those two shows up, you'd get Doc Martin. But... I also wanted to mention, that I really enjoyed the scenery of the British landscape as much as the show. Perhaps I'll update the rating as I see more shows. (update: I've now watched almost to the end of season 4 and I'm going to be sad that I finished this series. I've become attached to the characters (and town) which says a lot for a TV show. One thing I should note too... what I thought was going to be mainly a "comedy" series, they have quite a few "serious" episodes as well. I HOPE there is a future for this show and that Season 5 will be out eventually.

7/23/10 - Paranormal Activity - ★★★★ - Ok, I know... perhaps it's not worthy of a full 4 ★'s, but I was entertained and enjoyed this movie. I did watch it on my TV (on DVR actually), and I would imagine it was much more intense and scary in a large movie theater. I admit, I got the willies AFTER the movie was over - you know that ol' imagination can start to get to you after a movie like this. Was it as "scary" as they hyped it? maybe not for me (I used to be a "ghost hunter", so a lot of the things they did in the movie are things I did also - though NEVER with the same results). But all in all, I was glad to have finally gotten around to seeing this movie.

7/30/10 - The Machinist - ★★★★ - I'm not really sure if this was a good movie or not. It was rather twisted, and really had a feel of an old Hitchcock film. A slow moving psych thriller with lots of twists and turns. I enjoyed some of the attention to detail (ie: license plates, dead fish, etc...). Perhaps most disturbing though... to see an emaciated Christian Bale... wikipedia says he lost approx 62 pounds to get down to a weight of 120lbs. Now that's dedication (or crazy - or both).

8/?/10 - Pretty Bird - ★★★ - Not the best of movies, but as a fan of Paul Giamatti, I made it through the entire show. It could have been a good flick, but it lacked something, perhaps direction or better editing. nutshell... a guy with a salesman attitude and gift, tries to put together a team to build a rocket belt. (supposedly based on a true story?).

8/5/10 - Paris, Je T'aime - ★★★★ - An interesting movie, made up of a bunch of "shorts" or approx. 5 minute films, with the common theme of Paris (and love) tying them all together. While I didn't like every single one, there was one that stood out the best for me... "Place des fêtes" - that one blew me away with it's content and range of feelings all pushed neatly into a 5 minute film. I also found it slightly ironic the amount of "American actors and/or directors" involved with this film. (yes most of it is in french so if subtitles bother you, well... learn to speak french then.

8/9/10 - She's out of my league - ★★★ - I'm not sure why I'm giving it a three. There were times where it's a solid one, but there were moments I guess (in-between all the cliché musical montages) that I enjoyed this movie. Some of the jokes were good (some not so much), but there towards the end, it managed to keep my interest, and thus I finished watching the movie. Yes, it has a teen R-rated mentality, but I think it's saving grace... everyone loves an underdog story.

8/21/10 - Quarantine - ★★★★ - for a horror movie this was pretty good. I was entertained, and the overall storyline I felt had a thread of believability. Jennifer Carpenter (who I liked very much in Dexter), was good... well sort of... She has a way of "over reacting" which some might say is a good thing, but for me it's just a bit too over-the-top. So at some scenes where she was screaming and carrying on, I admit, I fast-forwarded it just to get to the next scene. But again, this is a horror movie, so the standard is not too high.

8/23/10 - Youth in Revolt - ★★★★ - All in all and decent quirky movie. Some of the situations... ok... MOST of the situations were rather unbelievable, but hey, it made for an entertaining movie. It was definitely rated R, and it reminded me of a sort of R-rated hipster style "animal house" movie, done as a teen romance/coming of age genre. A good cast of characters though.

9/1/10 - Waltz with Bashir - ★ - I'm not sure how I discovered this movie, but I can tell you that it was the animation that caught my interest. I also liked the fact that it was an Israeli film. But... maybe I just wasn't in the right mood for a foreign film, but I just could not get into this movie at all. Yes, the animation was pretty awesome at first, but then it soon became just another animated movie. quickly after that point, I lost all interest. Which is a bit sad, because I think there was an important message in there, but as I said, I lost interest.

9/3/10 - The Pursuit of Happyness - ★★★★ - Ok, yes... I admit it, I enjoyed this movie. I ALMOST gave it a 5★ rating too... but then I considered two points... 1) it was kinda depressing 2) it was a "typical" underdog movie. But I, like most people, enjoy underdog movies. I won't say much more about the plot, but Will Smith did another good job, as did his son Jaden. Oh... and I really enjoyed seeing all the city and street shots of San Francisco area. I've visited there and it's a fantastic place.

9/11/10 - To Kill a Mocking Bird - ★★★★★ - I really enjoyed this movie. (apparently a lot of people have because it's considered a classic). The acting was well done, and the story was what held my interest. The kids (Scout, Jem, Dill) were fun to watch as well. And one of the things that I enjoy about watching old movies (this was set in the late 30's, but filmed in 1961) is to see how things "used to be". For example, this father of 2 young kids, had a nanny, but for the most part, these kids were free to roam around the small town with no adult supervision. In today's world this would be unthinkable. (unless there are small towns out there who still feel safe in their communities like that). But all in all, this is a classic that everyone should watch.

9/23/10 - The Crazies - ★★★★ - Basically, this movie is a typical zombie genre horror movie, so when you see my 4★ rating, it's meant to be relative. But, I thought it was well done. Timothy Olyphant played a good role as the sheriff, and the other actors did a pretty good job as well. I liked the basic concept of the story in that it had a thread of believability. Worth a rental if you like zombie style movies.

9/22/10 - Aliens vs Monsters - ★★★★ - A kids movie that my friend let me borrow, and it was pretty good. The animation was well done as was the voice acting. I especially liked Seth Rogen's character of "the blob".

I've gotten a bit lazy on updating this list, so a handful of short reviews:

10/10/10 - The Ghost Writer - ★★★ - not bad really, but it just felt a bit on the slow side. The story was interesting and Ewan Macgreggor did a pretty good job of carrying the film, I wished I got to see more of Pierce Brosnan's character.

10/8/10 - The Happening - ★ - I was warned about even wasting my time to rent this movie, and even all the buzz on the internet as to how bad it was, but that made me curious... really how bad could it be? Yep... it was bad. Mark Wahlberg, who I usually like, was pitiful in this film. I don't know why he was so bad (I can only blame the director?). But the combination of a stupid plot-line, with horrible dialogue with poor directing made this movie a real stinker. That said... I watched the entire thing... I supposed I just have to give it some credit for keeping me hooked for the whole movie.

10/9/10 - The Usual Suspects - ★★★ - a classic that I have heard a lot of good things about, that I finally got around to seeing. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh with only 3 stars, but I think the time period really distracted me from enjoying the movie, Filmed in 1995, but it felt so long ago (Benicio was so young looking). Stephen Baldwin surprised me, in that he was pretty good. It was a very strange cast of actors, but for some reason it worked. The story was a bit hard to follow at times (time jumping, between present day and flashbacks), along with some characters not being explained until later, but all in all a decent movie.

10/10/10 - (Untitled) - ★★★★ - a smaller indy film that poked fun at the "art world" of the New York Gallery scene. I heard about this movie from my sister (thanks sis!). I liked it overall, but it's not a movie for everyone. I've had plenty of discussions of "what is art" so I thought I could relate a little more than perhaps the average movie goer. The "music" even, I thought was interesting as was some of the art (they were trying to spoof cutting edge, and I think they may have actually made some decent art i the process). I'm also a fan of Adam Goldberg, so that helped as well. I enjoyed Lucy Punch's character too (who played a secondary character) - and was later looking up her profile on imdb, and was very surprised to see that she was the one who played in Doc Martin's BBC tv series. (she was the secretary from the first season).

Note: I became lax in writing my reviews so I may have missed a handful of dvd's here.

10/?/10 - Baghead - ★ - I gave this small indy movie a chance, but it was basically horrible. I won't even bother getting into it.

10/?/10 - face/off - ★ - and older movie (1997), that I had missed, and finally got around to watching. I like Nicolas Cage and Travolta, but this was bad. Maybe in 1997 I would have liked it more? But just a typical action movie, with bad acting, and lame plot, depending too much on computer graphics.

10/?/10 - The Box - ★★ - Another pretty bad movie. It wasn't horrible, but it was close. It had its moments where I found myself enjoying it, and being sucked back to the 1970's (not sure why it was set i that time period though). But for the most part, I was just left scratching my head wondering what the heck was going on.

10/29/10 - X-Files: I want to believe - ★★★ - Perhaps my review is biased since I was a BIG fan of the TV show. So it was good to see these old characters back on my TV screen again. Unfortunately, the entire storyline seemed like a stretch. The acting was so-so. But in spite of the negatives, I was entertained for a bit.

(side note) - a string of bad movies lately. I hope a good one comes along to break the trend.

10/30/10 - Rocky Horror Picture Show - ★★★ - Not much to say on this one. I'm sure you're familiar with this movie in some way or another (from the 70's!). And yes, I've been to a few of the "midnight showings" for this, but I was never the one to get involved with memorizing the lines or bringing props. But... perhaps this was the first time since watching this movie since I was in my late teens, and I gotta say... what a screwy movie! I'm still not sure if it's good or not... in that it's SO BAD, that it's good.
Anyway... I'll just add this... I was on the internet wondering where some of the actors are now... I discovered an odd (to me) fact... that Riff Raff, Dr. Frank, and Brad Majors... all key players in TRHPS, that they have all done voice work for the Disney cartoon Phineas and Ferb. Odd you ask? Well... yeah kinda... an R-rated movie about transsexuals doesn't seem like the pool that Disney swims in for cartoons for kids. Kooky.

11/5/10 - Henry Rollins: live uncut from NYC - ★★★★ - intelligent, philosophy, funny, sad, angry, profanity, life stories = good stuff
A tad long winded though… might be better to watch this in two doses.

11/19/20 - The invention of lying - ★★ - While I like Ricky Gervais (most of the time), this movie just felt too trite. While dancing around the subject of morality, or more directly Religion… The movie skated on the edge of being insulting. I kept waiting for the big "twist" that would explain the movies motives… there was none. At times the movie brought me in, and I had fun, but eventually it just left a stale taste. And!!! the blatant product placement was a huge distraction to me.

11/21/10 - The White Stripes Under Northern Lights - ★★★★★ - at first I wasn't getting into the dvd. But the longer I watched the more I tuned in. By the end, I loved it. While I have to admit, I can't say as I like all of their songs/performances, but I can certainly appreciate the level of talent in both Meg and Jack. I'll say it here too… I think Jack is a musical genius. As to the dvd, I enjoyed some of the "behind the scenes" looks of what went on in the Canadian tour. If you're a fan, I'd rate this as a must see.

11/25/10 - American Psycho - ★ - Stupid. That is all.

11/26/10 - The Universe Of Keith Harring - ★★★ - one of my favorite artists, and I enjoyed learning a bit about him as a person, and about his life, but as a documentary… it left me wanting more. I felt too much focus was spent on holding Keith up as a "celebrity" and not enough background about the art itself. ie: Why the line art? What does the crawling baby represent? What about the dog or the three eyed monster? I still like Keith's art, but I wasn't really interested in the New York social scene in the late 80's.

11/??/10 - In Bruges - ★★★★★ - I have seen this movie before, but decided to rent it again. (I usually don't do that). But yes, I very much enjoyed this the second time around.

12/12/10 - who the #$@% is Jackson Pollock? - ★★★ - I found this movie interesting, and the story a good one, but felt it was just a bit too long winded. While the film presents some interesting "opinions/facts" in the end, I found myself just not agreeing with the premise that this was a Pollock. Don't let that discourage YOU for making up your own mind though, don't view this as a "spoiler" - because I'm sure there are plenty of people who will side with Loraine. But my "gut instinct" tells me that it's not a true Pollock painting. It does highlight the fact though behind the "art world" - in that it's not just about "is it a nice painting" that determines the worth of a piece of art, but rather the story, the signature (or lack of), and which "critic" deems it worth of a price tag. This is how the real world operates and it's a bit of a sham if you ask me.

12/12/10 - Capote - ★★★★ - A rather depressing story. I'm not too big of a fan of movies that depress me, but I have to give this a 4★ for no other reason than Philip seymour hoffman's portrayal of Truman Capote. Just a great performance. That said, I don't really know what capote's mannerisms are/were, I've only seen a clip or two in the past, so all I know is that he had a high pitched voice. But… I do know Hoffman, and the person I watched tonight on my tv screen was not Hoffman. I found the story compelling too, in that I am torn with how to feel about it… But, I guess that's the sign of a good story.

12/16/10 - Splice - ★★★★ - I know! You're saying 4-∆'s?! Yep. Ok, first off… this was not a great movie - but, i have to admit, I was entertained throughout, and enjoyed it. Adrian Brody did an ok job here, the effects were really well done as well. I'm sorry to say though, Sarah Polley, who played Brody's girlfriend was horrible! Almost comical at times as to how bad. The story was interesting as well. Perhaps one of the reasons I enjoyed this movie, was that I had read other reviews that said it was awful, so perhaps my expectations were so low that I didn't hold it to any high standards.

12/18/10 - Ushpizin - ★★★★★ - Sometimes it's a great treat to just stumble upon a movie. I actually don't recall where I heard of this movie, other than I think it was on a previous dvd that I rented and it was in the trailers. The main actor (who I think also wrote the screenplay) caught my attention. That, and I've had pretty good luck with foreign films lately, so I gave it shot. I'm glad I did. It was basically a comedy, in that situations were a bit over the top and somewhat humorous, but underneath the comedy was a really nice story. I liked the scenery too (though I wanted to see more), and that's one of the main reasons I enjoy these foreign films so much, it's like looking into another part of the world. If you enjoy a 'slice of life' film, with a real independent feel to it, and don't mind reading subtitles, then I'd highly recommend this film. note: Ushpizin is an Aramaic word that means "guests".
Oh… and this is one of those movies that the less you know ahead of time the better.

12/20/10 - The day the earth stood still - ★★★★ - A dvd i borrowed from my friend, and I enjoyed it. The audio quality was annoying though, in that, once the conversations stopped, they'd cut to either music or some sound effects, and they boosted the volume really loud. I kept having to reduce the volume, then once they started talking again, I'd have to raise it back up. The story was an interesting one. The effects for the time were pretty good too.
I later looked up some info about the movie on wikipedia, and read that the screenwriter wanted the "Christ" reference to be "subliminal" - really? Because I thought it was rather blatant :)

12/26/10 - Mic Macs - ★★★ - I suspect I wasn't in the right frame of mind to enjoy this movie. I liked the visuals, and some of the bits were funny, but I just couldn't get drawn into the movie. It was certainly a quirky one. Currently, it's been snowing for about 10 hours and there is predictions that it will continue to snow throughout the night, so I think I've been distracted and couldn't devote my full attention to the movie.

12/27/10 - Fur - ★★ - I actually feel bad for not liking this movie. I can see what they were trying for, but in my opinion they just focused on a narrow window and drew that out into a long winded 2 hour movie. The acting was well done, even the cinematography was nice at times, but I found myself fast-forwarding a couple times just to get on a bit quicker. I will say this, hands down, the strangest movie of 2010. I bet this movie puts me in the realm of a *true* Robert Downey fan as I bet most people have never seen (or heard about) this movie.

12/30/10 - Please give - ★★(★) - So on Netflix they have ratings for each movie based on a 5 star system. You would think that a 3 star would be a "middle-of-the-road" rating, but on Netflix they make it difficult (for me anyway). They have it so a 2 star rating is "I didn't like it" and a 3 star is "I liked it". Me… I like gray areas on certain things. The movie… The subject was a "slice-of-life" type movie with several characters in a New York apartment. Several of these people were just downright nasty and unlikeable. Some of the subjects (like death) were pretty depressing. For those two reasons, I did not like this movie. The world is full of suck, and I watch movies to escape that for 2 hours. That said… I can appreciate that this was a good movie. The acting was well done all around, the scenery was nice, the conflicts of the story was enough to build a good tension… it just didn't make me feel good - so, only 2 stars. Oh, I should mention, this is 100% a chick-flick.

12/30/10 - I Like Killing Flies - ★★★★ - An unusual documentary. Overall I liked it, but like some of the scenes, I felt a bit like I was covered in grease and grime after watching it. I do know this… I'll never eat at a little dive restaurant in New York City. Also, at just over an hour, this was a good "short" movie for a subject like this. There were some pearls of wisdom in this film too, but they were grease covered. I find it also interesting, that this person, and how he lives, speaks, and thinks - was formed by some psychologist for 14 years.

total 63*
I may have skipped one or two and a few of these were TV series where there were multiple shows and dvd's - I only counted the entire season as one dvd.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i hope you're doing well. i have a new blog. haven't written in there in a long while but it is there.

i don't even know if you remember me.


aka valejandras